The first installment of “Namaste Nepal: The Journal of Chuck Conner” is featured in this issue (See page A8).

Conner is a member of Ripley Rotary and has traveled to Nepal each year for the past 13 years to provide assistance to children and rural schools.

To commemorate Conner’s most recent efforts, Jackson Newspapers is publishing the journal entries he composed during his trip. The feature will run in every edition of The Jackson Herald.

Conner, who lives in Roane County, embarked on the five-week trip Oct. 31 and returned Dec. 7.

“In the past we have provided service to as many as 14 schools during the journey,” Conner said. “I thought that in 2016, that would be my last but after a year-plus of rest and rejuvenation, I have regained the energy and enthusiasm for a final trip of service for the children and rural schools of Nepal.”

Throughout the years, Conner has assisted in building small schools, toilets, water systems, provided food, clothing and supplies for the children as well as supporting women’s micro-loans, health camps in rural villages and supporting “Days for Girls,” which provides menstrual health education and hygiene kits for girls to keep them in school and not isolated from society.

“We also have two Tibetan boarding schools in the small city of Pokhara. The children come from Upper Mustang during the long winter months to continue their schooling. We generally have assisted between 8-16 schools per visit,” Conner said.

During each trip, Conner documented his work through an “almost” daily journal that he distributes though email.

“I document the daily highs, lows and in-betweens of the service, the challenges, the incredible friendliness of the Nepalese, the beauty of the landscape and culture. It offers some insight into what it takes to offer service to the schools.